The redevelopment of AuburnBank downtown will soon move forward, as retail banking has already moved into the adjacent Operations Center on Gay Street and preliminary work for a parking deck is slated to start in August.
AuburnBank officially moved its retail banking to the Operations Center on June 22, and is currently finishing up the process of relocating customers' safety deposit boxes.
Phase One of redevelopment will include the construction of a 535-space parking deck on the northeast edge of the bank's property fronting Burton Street. Construction is expected to start sometime in August or early September, and be completed in six or seven months in early spring of 2021.
AuburnBank moved from its original location on Toomer's Corner, where it was established in 1907, to its current building on the corner of South Gay Street and Magnolia Avenue in 1964.
"It has served a wonderful life," said AuburnBank President Bob Dumas, who added that its demolition is expected to start in mid- to late-October.
Construction will then begin on a new four-story building that will consist of about 96,000 gross square feet and will pull AuburnBank's downtown retail banking and operations under one roof.
"Really for us coming into one facility, both retail and operationally, and being in one facility, will be much more efficient," said Dumas. "For our customers, our shareholders and our employees, it's an investment that will last us quite a long time and provide more efficiency."
Dumas added that the building will also offer Class-A office space for tenants, as well as retail space fronting Gay Street. AuburnBank is expected to have about 46,000 square feet available for tenants.
JH Berry & Gilbert Inc., a commercial real estate company out of Birmingham, is managing leasing.
"They're already active and working on that for us," said Dumas. "We have the potential of bringing other tenants and people to downtown that will be a huge benefit for the merchants and restaurants and all of those downtown. That's just an additional benefit of the investment we're making that will be beneficial to Auburn and downtown Auburn."
Construction of the new building is projected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021.
The city of Auburn is also considering the installation of on-street parking spaces in front of the bank along West Magnolia Avenue, as well as wider sidewalks and lighting improvements. Those measures, as well as burying the power and cable lines, will make the area "much more pedestrian-friendly," said Dumas.
"It's a big project, but it's exciting," he said. "I think it will redefine and certainly shape this corner very positively for downtown and for our customers and for our employees and tenants."
Dumas added that AuburnBank will consider future phases, which could include more retail, after phase one is completed.